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University of Minnesota Extension

Holiday shopping strategies

Holidays are definitely the time for giving and spending. And for many, holidays are also a season for taking on too much debt. It doesn't need to be that way if you develop a game plan ahead of time.

Start by setting a holiday spending target. Staying under target will help relieve the stress of being broke after the holidays. Here are some ideas to use:

  • Make a budget — know how much you want to spend.
  • Have family conversations about limiting gifts or cost.
  • Limit the credit card use — they make it easy to spend more than planned.
  • Make sure online shopping sites are legitimate — don’t just click on items in social media.
  • Mail delivery may be delayed, that’s why consumers are being urged to shop early.
  • Retailers may have limited stock/supply lines through mid-2021.
  • Watch for sales and coupons for planned purchases.
  • Free shopping apps help find latest deals.
  • Buy early when you see items on sale if your spending plan allows.
  • Homemade gifts are personal without breaking the budget.
  • Give a family/group gift to save money.
  • Give gift cards for retailers the receiver frequents.
  • Concentrate gifts on children rather than adults if you need to make spending cuts.
  • Use PowerPay from Utah State University Extension to pay down holiday debt.
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